This is it, the very last episode of the Ashita no Joe 50th Anniversary tribute anime, Megalo Box!! It has been one hell of a ride. There have been way more lows than highs for Joe and the rest of Team Nowhere, but with this final match, they hope to pull off their biggest surprise yet. Who will end up on top? Will it be stray dog Joe or will it be tournament favorite Yuri? Only time will tell, so sit back, relax, and get ready for our final romp in the ring with Episode 13, ‘Born to Die’!
Joe and Yuri finally face off in the ring! This is the most anticipated fight of the Megalonia Tournament and there are bound to be more than a few surprises!
Dancing Partner: The episode opens with Nanbu waltzing as they wait for the match to begin. When Sachio questions him about it, Nanbu offers to teach Sachio how to dance. Out of context, it’s a strange scene as dancing seemingly has nothing to do with boxing, but there are several points in the series when Nanbu likens boxing to dancing and competitors as dancing partners.
Small Acts of Kindness: Sachio offers Yuri a small bit of assistance mid-match despite the two being competitors. It’s a small moment, but definitely very telling of the respect Sachio has for Yuri as a boxer.
A Moment of Silence: Towards the end of the match just before Yuri and Joe strike their final blows, there is a moment where time seems to freeze and it’s just the two of them alone in the ring.
Themes & Trivia
Carpe Diem: Before his match with Yuri, Nanbu gives Joe a ticket for a bet he placed at the dogfighting ring. The name of the dog (which lost btw) was Carpediem. ‘Carpe diem’ is a Latin phrase that means ‘seize the day”.
Military Weapon: Shirato’s Integrated Gear is being developed not just for use in the boxing ring, but as a potential weapon for the military.
Voiceover: Yuri gives a final narration about the inescapability of death that offers a sense of finality to the series as a whole. No matter who you are or where you come from death is the great equalizer.
One Year Later: We don’t actually get to see the results of the match until the very end of the episode and after the credits roll. Instead, after Joe and Yuri exchange their final blows the episode skips forward one year to the aftermath of the match as we catch up with all the characters post-Megalonia.
What can I say? I loved this episode so much. I mean, it was everything that the series promised and more! Joe and Yuri face off in the ring not so much as competitors, but as equals, which was a stark contrast to how they started the series. Both characters grew from their interactions with one another throughout the series and this final match wasn’t so much about winning or losing, but about their individual growth as characters. They aren’t the same people they were in Episode 1 and this is not the same match they had at the start of the series. This time around they are on an even playing field and as a result, the match feels different! I won’t spoil it for you guys, but the final moments of the fight were phenomenal!
It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye
That was probably the most fitting end this series could have. In the end, the results didn’t really matter all that much. Instead, Megalo Box was about the journey, and man, was it one hell of a ride! Over the course of 13 episodes I grew to love all of the characters, even characters I absolutely hated at the end of the series and I will admit that I am a little sad to have to say goodbye.
This was just an all around great series and a fitting tribute to the iconic Ashita no Joe series that I adore. There were a few ups and downs along the way, but I don’t regret a single moment!